Tasting articles survey - results
18 Sep 2013 by Jancis Robinson

Thank you so much for your responses to our recent survey on how you prefer to see our tasting articles presented. The question was whether you preferred single-retailer tasting articles such as the one we published yesterday on Majestic's current special offers or collections of tasting notes grouped by region or country such as Julia's recent collection of tasting notes on Madeira ancient and modern.

In all only 300 of you took part in the survey, far fewer for instance than the number who responded to our survey last March asking how often you wanted us to contact you by email. This suggests that perhaps it is not such a hot topic, or at least not one about which so many people feel strongly. (You will have noticed, by the way, that we have responded to those asking for more regular email contact by introducing regular emails every Friday morning to tell those who said they wanted to be contacted by email what we published the previous week.)

Since all the retailers in question are based in the UK, we were expecting British residents to be keener on single-retailer tasting articles than those who live elsewhere. That was certainly the case, but even among the 131 UK residents who answered the survey, the majority, 58%, said they preferred tasting articles presented as regional collections. And of the majority of respondents who live outside the UK, a solid 77% told us they preferred regionally presented tasting articles. (Actually, I'm surprised the proportion of non-UK residents who said they liked single-retailer tasting articles was as high as 23%...)

So, the upshot is that we will aim to present regional collections of wine reviews, probably twice a year around November and June, sometimes a little sooner and sometimes a little later. After all, we like to present you with a drip feed of advice and enthusiasm rather than an occasional deluge, and there are many other reports we provide throughout the year such as those on the latest primeur offerings from Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, Germany and all over Italy. You can see this guide to our first set of regional collections published last July to get some idea.

It is unlikely that we will totally dispense with single-retailer tasting articles, however. We know so many British wine drinkers who buy exclusively at Majestic that we may occasionally devote a tasting article to what that significant British retailer is currently pushing. And there will be instances when a single retailer is of particular interest. Many of you indicated that you liked both ways of presenting the wine reviews. Some even suggested that we could present tasting notes in both retailer articles and regional collections. I fear that would need a bit of fundamental re-engineering of our database but it's certainly something to bear in mind for our constant programme of improvements.

As I say, we are - as always - very grateful for the feedback. And you can always add more below.